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“This vigorous, inventive work will surely fire up readers’ neurons.”


— Starred Review, Publisher’s Weekly


Selected Reviews


“The stories in Iddo Gefen’s Jerusalem Beach are a series of original and, many times truly inspiring, attempts to seek and find humanity and tenderness at the least predictable places.”

Etgar Keret,

author of Fly Already


“Jerusalem Beach accomplishes the impossible—at once playful and wrenching, surprising and organic, these stories are instant classics, if classics could somehow come from the future. Gefen’s is a once-in-a-generation voice.”

Shelly Oria,
author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0


“Ironic, stirring, funny and exhilarating, Jerusalem Beach is a brilliant debut, and Gefen may be the best Israeli short story writer since Etgar Keret.”

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, author of Waking Lions

Anchor 1

For fans of Etgar Keret,
a debut collection that fuses the humor of everyday life in Israel with technology’s challenges and the latest discoveries about the human brain.

At once compassionate, philosophical, and humorous, Jerusalem Beach is a foray into the human condition in all its contradictions. Through a series of snapshots of contemporary life in Israel, Gefen reveals a world that’s a step from the familiar.

A man’s grandfather joins an army platoon of geriatrics looking for purpose in old age.
A scheming tech start-up exposes the dire consequences of ambition in trying to share human memories. An elderly couple searches for a beach that doesn’t exist. And, a boy mourns his brother’s death in an attempt to catch time like flies in his fist.

Entirely heartfelt and infused with pathos, Jerusalem Beach is an exploration of both technology and the brain. Whether ruminating on the stakes of familial love or pitching the reader headlong into the absurdity of success and failure, Gefen leaves the reader intrigued throughout.


Film and TV rights of several stories from Jerusalem Beach were sold to leading Hollywood production companies.

Translated by Daniella Zamir
Published by Astra House




Iddo Gefen was born in 1992 in Israel and currently resides in  Brooklyn. Jerusalem Beach is his debut collection, and recipient of the Sami Rohr Prize (2023); Iddo won the National Library of Israel “Pardes” Scholarship for young writers (2019). His debut novel, Mrs. Lilienblum’s Cloud Factory, will be published by Astra House in 2024.


Iddo is a Ph.D. student in cognitive psychology at Columbia University in New York City, exploring how storytelling can improve our understanding of the human mind. His research focuses on the relationship between narrative understanding, human memory, and decision-making.


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